Coronavirus cell

Tuolumne County Public Health recorded nine new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, including seven people in the community and two inmates at Sierra Conservation Center state prison near Jamestown.

New community cases included two people under age 20; three men in their 30s; a man in his 40s; and a woman in her 50s.

On Tuesday, the county was investigating the death of a person who was recently hospitalized for the deadly virus. The deceased person was not identified, and no information was released about when or where the individual was when he or she died. The death will not be added to the county’s data until the investigation has been completed.

The county’s total of deaths where coronavirus was the primary or contributing cause remained at 36 on Thursday.

As of Thursday evening, Tuolumne County had counted 3,279 total cases of coronavirus since early this year, with 2,099 community cases and 1,180 inmate cases. There were 115 active coronavirus cases and three COVID-positive individuals hospitalized as of Wednesday evening.

Also as of Thursday evening, California had counted more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 31,650 deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 23.2 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 388,000 Americans.

A new state travel advisory is in effect, and Californians should avoid non-essential travel more than 120 miles from their place of residence.

The current regional stay home order is based on intensive care unit availability in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region, which includes Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. ICU availability for the San Joaquin Valley region remained at 0 percent as of Thursday.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state Health and Human Services secretary, said in late December stay home order for the San Joaquin Valley region will be extended until projections from the state show ICU capacity above or equal to 15 percent. Projections will be calculated and updated daily moving forward.

“Please stay vigilant, wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain a safe social distance from others to help slow the spread and the impact to our local hospital and healthcare system,” county public health staff said.

On Tuesday this week, the 13-county Greater Sacramento region that includes Alpine County, which borders Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, exited its regional stay home order, said Richard O. Johnson, the Alpine County health officer.

The COVID-19 testing site at Mother Lode Fairgrounds, set up by the state and run by Optum Serve-LHI, is supposed to be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The county public health department has been approved to open testing sites at at Groveland Community Hall, 18720 Main Street in Groveland, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays; and at Tuolumne Memorial Hall, 18375 Fir Ave. in the town of Tuolumne, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments can be scheduled at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

People with concerns about new or worsening symptoms can call the Adventist Health Sonora COVID-19 Triage Line at (209) 536-5166 to speak to a nurse or other clinician.

The county COVID-19 call center is open during normal office hours. People who have questions or concerns can call (209) 533-7440 for information.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.net or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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